Bed Bugs in Hotel Rooms

Bacteria, bed bugs, and other health hazards may be lurking in your hotel room. These unwanted guests can ruin your vacation before you even see the sights. In order to avoid a hotel nightmare, know how to spot potential dangers and how to protect yourself.

Some hotel hazards you should be aware of include:

TV Remotes

When thinking of hotel hygiene, you may immediately think of bedspreads, toilets, and bathrooms. However, the remote control sits atop the pyramid of grime. Other health hazards include hotel telephones, blow dryers, door handles, light switches, and in-room menus. Everyone touches these items and they are less likely to be cleaned.

Ice Buckets

Investigative reports show that ice buckets are often contaminated with fecal bacteria. Apparently, ice buckets are commonly used by guests as vomit containers. These buckets containing remnants of vomit can spread norovirus, a vomiting bug, as well as other diseases.


The law in both Missouri and Kansas state that hotel room glasses and cups must be sanitized thoroughly. Kansas’ law takes it a step further to say that washing of glassware must take place outside of the room. However, in most hotels, there’s no guarantee. Reports have shown cleaning staff merely wipe down the drinking glasses and replace them on the counter for the next guest.


Molds, bacteria, and fungus can all grow in used hotel carpets. Besides a quick vacuum here and there, hotel carpets are rarely cleaned, creating a habitat for harmful germs.

Hot tubs and pools

Pools and hot tubs are breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If the water is not properly maintained, infection-causing agents can potentially thrive. Skin problems, possible lung infections, and gastrointestinal disease can result from spending time in an infected hot tub or pool.


Bedbugs are tiny insects that resemble reddish brown ticks or cockroaches. They primarily feed on their victims at night and cause itchy red bumps to develop. These menaces can be found around the world and are easily capable of travelling across oceans in a suitcase. Additionally, because bedbugs don’t feed on filth, a hotel’s cleanliness does not make a difference. 

Now that you are completely disgusted, here are tips to avoid these hotel hazards:

Read Reviews

A majority of travel and hotel review sites contain a cleanliness category in their evaluation. Unfortunately, the price, location, or a brand name does not guarantee sanitary living quarters. Your best bet is to see what other travelers are saying about their experience.

Wash Your Hands

The main cause of sickness is putting your germ-covered hands in your mouth. Wash your hands early and often.

Take Off the Bedspread

The bedspread is typically the most germ-infested thing in the whole room. Ask your hotel how often they wash their bedspreads or just bring your own blanket and remove the hotel’s altogether.


Travel with sanitizing wipes or antibacterial sanitizer. Simply spray and wipe down the main touch points in the hotel room. Key places to remember include phones, door handles, toilet handles, ice buckets, remote controls, and faucet handles.

Avoid the Glassware

Either run the glasses under hot water for a few minutes, or better yet, bring your own cup when you travel. 

Wear shoes 24/7

Bring flip-flops or a pair of socks to wear around the hotel room to protect your feet from the dirty carpet. Additionally, do not sit on the floor or leave your clothes on the carpet.

Avoid bed bugs

Upon arrival, check the mattress, box spring, and behind the headboard for signs of bed bugs (reddish brown spots). Do not put your belongings directly on the beds or other furnishings that may harbor bed bugs. It is also recommended that you keep your suitcase in a trash bag during your stay and vacuum your suitcase once home.


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